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USA: California repeals the flammability test procedure technical bulletin 133 for seating furniture for use in public occupancies

MARCH 2019 - Relevant for: Hardlines, Softlines

The Bureau of Electronic and Appliance Repair, Home Furnishings and Thermal Insulation (BEARHFTI) of the State of California repealed the Technical Bulletin 133 (TB 133)1, entitled "Flammability Test Procedure For Seating Furniture For Use in Public Occupancies" adopted in 1991.

This change became effective from 22 January 2019.

In June 2013, the BEARHFTI adopted the revised flammability standard TB 117-2013 which covers upholstered furniture for both home and public occupancies and provides methods for smoulder resistance of cover fabrics, barrier materials, resilient filling materials, and decking materials for use in upholstered furniture. Therefore, the flammability standard TB 133 and the associated labelling requirements was a redundant test standard that caused confusion within the industry and presented unnecessary health risks associated with exposure to the flame retardants that might be added to the product to comply with the flammability standard.

Effective from 22 January 2019, the manufacturers of upholstered furniture for public occupancies, such as jails, prisons, nursing care homes, health care facilities, public auditoriums, hotels etc. shall comply with the smoulder resistance flammability standard, TB 117-2013 that can be met without the use of flame retardants. Thus, with this regulatory action, it is also expected to lower costs of upholstered seating furniture used in public buildings.

[1] Notice of approval of regulatory action

[2] E-ssentials, July 2018, on Proposed amendment to remove requirements of Technical Bulletin 133

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